My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. James 1:2-4
Sometimes it seems as though we get more than our fair share of trials, troubles, and tough times. At times it can feel like "life teams up with Murphy's Law" and decides that we need a little more trying situations to make sure we don't get too comfortable. The car won't start at the exact moment you're already running late for the day. Your spouse loses his/her job in a down economy. There's more month than money in your bank account. You go to the doctor for one health concern and they find seven more health issues that need attention. Or, maybe you're talked about, persecuted, or scoffed at for your faith and beliefs. Whether these are the result of life and Murphy's Law teaming up on you is up for debate, but what I've come to learn is that we can allow our tough times to either take us out, or take us to the next level of maturity.
Tough times are pretty much a guaranteed event, so it behooves us to cultivate the right mindset to endure them when they come. Hard times help build character, resilience, and patience in us. Tough life situations aid in our training and development as we pursue a life of faith, fitness, and freedom akin to how going to the gym and lifting weights help build muscle, endurance, and vitality in the physical body! No pain, no gain, as they say...know pain, know gain! Through the pain of tough times we learn to struggle, that we're tougher than we think, that we're resilient, that life is worth living, and learn to appreciate that much more the accomplishment of overcoming an obstacle. Through the pain of tough times we experience the greatest joy of achievement.
In short, the next time you experience tough, trying, and hard situations and circumstances, just remember that there is great joy to be realized in the patience of struggling through. Count it joyful that you were considered worthy of a test in order to be promoted, or matured to a greater level of life and living. It's like in a video game...you don't get to the next level without going through tests, struggle, or a fight. So, fight on! Don't give up, or give in! May the Grace of Jesus be with you always!
Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 1 Peter 1:6-7 -- Tough times are used to train and discipline you unto maturity. They're used as a means to help you develop into a full grown Spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical adult in Christ Jesus.
Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly. Job 1:20-22 -- Job was tested, endured hard times, but did not lose faith in G_d, nor charge Him foolishly.
Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Hebrews 12:11 -- Hard times when endured produce peaceable fruit that always you to become tree of righteousness that others can glean from. You become a sustainer of humanity waiting in maturity for the Bridegroom!
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